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Top 7 Abs Workouts for Fast Results

Top 7 Abs Workouts for Fast Results

Work your abs, abs, abs, you hear it all the time. It's the foundation of every workout and the body part you'll want to flaunt in the summer. But who has time to crunch crunch crunch just to see a smidgeon of definition? You are not one of them. That's why we turned to the experts to figure out exactly which moves would make a significant difference in a short amount of time. (Of course, this should be accompanied by good eating habits, since abs are made in the kitchen.) Girl, get ready to work it.

1. Twist the cable

According to Adam Rosante, accredited personal trainer and author of The 30-Second Body, the core is much more than just your upper and lower abs. “Your heart is made up of everything from your pelvic floor to your spine, and its function is to stabilize the spine while your extremities are moving,” he says. This transition requires you to maintain core stability while rotating your torso, which increases the obliques' workload. (Want to lose weight quickly? Check out Next Fitness Star Nikki Metzger's Ignite routine in Women's Health.)

Give it a shot: Face a cable stack with the right side up. Place the cable at chest height and grasp the handle with your right hand, clasping the top with your left. Outstretch your arms in front of you. Twist your body to the left with your abs close and your palms in the middle of your chest the whole time. Return to the beginning. That counts as one rep. Complete 10 reps rotating to the left, then turn around and complete 10 reps rotating to the right.

But be careful not to pull on the cable, as this will turn the exercise into a shoulder exercise rather than an abs exercise. “Throughout the movement, hold your hands directly in front of your chest and imagine your entire body functioning in unison,” Rosante advises. Oh, even if you don't have access to a cable machine, don't worry. You can also use a resistance band instead—just tie it to a solid object at chest height and follow the same directions, according to Rosante.

Knee Tucks with a Stability Ball

Since you're operating on an uneven surface, this exercise comfortably works both your abs and overall heart, unlike a crunch, which places unnecessary—and unwanted—stress on the spine, says Fabio Comana, accredited personal trainer and exercise physiologist at the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Give it a shot: Walk your body out to a plank pose with your knees on the middle of the stability ball and your hands firmly on the floor, aligning your buttocks, shoulders, and head. Comana explains, “Imagine a stick lying on your spine; it should make contact with all three regions.” Bring your knees forward by engaging your abs and hip flexors. Your spine will stretch as they move closer to your stomach, stimulating your abs. Hold the tuck for a second or two before slowly returning to the starting position. That counts as one rep. Perform 10 to 15 reps.

However, avoid compromising your plank spot. Comana advises, "Remember to keep the straight line all the way through." “It won't be very successful if your hips are sagging toward the floor or hiked up like a pike.” Don't forget to keep the knee movement going. You'll just be working the hip flexors if you don't pull the knees forward far enough to flex the spine all the way through your chest, according to Comana.

3. Plank with forearms

You had a feeling this one would be on the list, didn't you? According to Mark Langowski, accredited personal trainer and CEO of Body by Mark, and author of Eat This Not That for Abs, "every trainer has you doing planks because they work." He explains, "You're working so many muscles at once, and it helps reinforce all of the core muscles surrounding the spine, which helps avoid back injury."

Give it a shot: Begin by doing a pushup, but instead of resting your weight on your knees, bend your elbows and rest on your forearms. From head to toe, the body can form a straight line. Keep your abs as tight as you can for as long as you can. Keep track of your time and strive to improve it with each exercise.

But take care not to hold for too long or you'll lose your form. Langowski explains, "Planks are something you create from every time you do them." “So if you start by keeping one for 20 seconds, you can increase to 25 the next time. But if you start with a minute because that's what all your Instagram friends are doing, your hips are likely to sag too low or pike too far, which is a recipe for injury.”

4. Plank on the side

The side plank, the younger sister of the regular plank, isolates the obliques even further, according to Langowski. “It works just as many muscles as the front plank and helps tighten and tone your abs to give you those sexy lines down the sides,” he says.

Give it a shot: For help, lie on your left side with your left forearm on the concrete. Lift your hips to form a straight line with your body, pinch your glutes, and tighten your abs. (The weight should be distributed evenly between your left forearm and the outside edge of your left foot.) Hold for 30 seconds or until you are fully exhausted, then lower to the ground and repeat on the other side.

However, take care not to get distracted. “The most common mistake I see is people losing concentration on which muscles they're engaging and having sloppy form,” Langowski says. “Draw your belly button in and lift your hips to the sky,” says the instructor.

Superwoman is number five

This exercise really works your lower back, which Rosante claims is sometimes ignored. “When you work one muscle group, you must also work the opposite muscle group that supports it,” he explains. “As a result, if you work your abs, you can also work your lower back. You must also work your back if you work your chest.” The best part is that you don't need any special equipment to do this pass, so get down on the floor and get started.

Get immediate results: Lie facedown on the floor with your arms outstretched and your feet together. Lift your chest and legs together, so that your chest and thighs are both lifted off the ground. Return to the beginning after a beat. That counts as one rep. At a time, try to complete 12 to 15 tasks.

However, avoid overarching your lower back. It happens often, according to Rosante, and may result in injury. “Think of lengthening across your fingertips and toes—reaching out as far as you can in both directions—while holding your belly button pulled in,” he advises.

6. Slammed Medicine Balls

This motion not only targets the abs, buttocks, and hips, but it's also a fantastic way to release aggression. After a particularly hard day at work, we suggest incorporating it into your routine.

Give it a shot: Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart and both hands at chest level, carrying a moderately heavy med ball. Squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor, then push through your heels and straighten your legs, bringing the med ball overhead. Slam the ball down to the floor with your abs close, using your hips and abs to provide as much leverage as possible in your slam. That counts as one rep. Recover the ball quickly and repeat for 30 to 45 seconds.

However, avoid arching your back when you bring the ball overhead. To stop injury, Comana recommends tilting your hips backward and keeping your trunk stiff while you bring the ball behind your body's midline. Often, avoid slamming the ball directly under your body, as this will cause the ball to bounce back and strike you in the face. It's not enjoyable.

Taps on the Shoulders and Knees

Though planks are a fantastic workout, according to Langowski, they are static holds, and you should also have dynamic movement in your routine. “Because you're jumping about, it keeps the muscles engaged,” he says. This exercise simultaneously works the abs, obliques, lower back, and arms. What's that say about efficiency?

Give it a shot: Begin with your hands on the floor, abs strong, and glutes engaged in a pushup position. Return your right hand to the floor after tapping your left shoulder. Return to the floor after lifting your left hand and tapping your right leg. Return to the starting position by rapidly bending your right knee and bringing it to your left elbow. Return to the starting position by bending your left knee and bringing it to your left elbow. That counts as one rep. For one minute, repeat this sequence without stopping.

However, avoid lifting your hips too high or sinking below your midline. According to Langowski, you can keep your abs close the whole time to keep your body in a straight line. Don't worry if you can't get your knees to hit the knee. It's not mandatory, according to Langowski, as long as you get as near as possible. The more you practice, the smaller the difference will become.